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Ecosystem response to 15 years of chronic nitrogen additions at the Harvard Forest LTER, Massachusetts, USA

Ecosystem response to 15 years of chronic nitrogen additions at the Harvard Forest LTER, Massachusetts, USA,10.1016/j.foreco.2004.03.033,Forest Ecolog

Ecosystem response to 15 years of chronic nitrogen additions at the Harvard Forest LTER, Massachusetts, USA   (Citations: 98)
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Humans have altered the global and regional cycles of nitrogen more than any other element. Alteration of N cycling patterns and processes in forests is one potentially negative outcome of accelerated N deposition worldwide. To assess potential impacts of N deposition on temperate forests, a series of chronic nitrogen additions in two contrasting forest types (red pine plantation and mixed hardwood stand) were designed as a core experiment of the Harvard Forest (HF) Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) program. This paper describes the chronic N experimental study site in detail and presents the long-term baseline measurements established at the beginning of treatments in 1988.Results reported here continue or accelerate trends presented in previous papers. Losses of inorganic N remain high in the high N plots (higher in pines than hardwoods) and low N plots in the pine stand also have measurable DIN losses. Foliar and fine root N concentrations are elevated significantly. Mortality of red pine reached 56% by 2002 in the pine high N plot, and biomass accumulation has stopped altogether. The high N hardwood stand shows increased ANPP, but excess N availability and a severe drought in 1995 contributed to mortality of 72% of red maple trees by 2002. Species importance and litterfall patterns were altered in several plots after 1995. Roots, foliage and wood have diminished as net sinks for added N, re-emphasizing the role of soils in N retention. Two mechanisms for large net retention of added N were suggested in a review paper in 1998. Of these, abiotic immobilization is supported by a growing set of papers, while assimilation and re-exudation by mycorrhizae is suggested by increased DON concentrations.
Journal: Forest Ecology and Management - FOREST ECOL MANAGE , vol. 196, no. 1, pp. 7-28, 2004
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